Can Cats Get High? Unraveling the Truth Behind Feline’s Sensitivity

No, cats cannot get high from marijuana or any other substance. Cats cannot get high from marijuana or any other substance.

While some people may think it’s funny or harmless to expose their pets to drugs, it is actually quite dangerous and can have serious consequences for the cat’s health. Cats have a different physiology than humans and their bodies cannot metabolize drugs in the same way.

Even small amounts of marijuana can be toxic to cats and can lead to symptoms such as lethargy, lack of coordination, vomiting, and even seizures. It is important to keep all drugs and substances out of reach of pets to ensure their safety and well-being.

The Science Behind Catnip And Its Effects

Catnip is a fascinating herb that can induce a euphoric response in cats. The compound called nepetalactone found in catnip stimulates the pleasure centers in a cat’s brain, resulting in behaviors like rolling, rubbing, and purring. However, cats do not get high in the same way humans do.

What Is Catnip And How Does It Work On Cats?

Catnip, a natural herb, has a profound effect on feline senses. It contains a chemical compound called Nepetalactone, which is responsible for its stimulating properties. When cats are exposed to catnip, they often exhibit a range of responses.

Understanding The Chemical Compound In Catnip: Nepetalactone

Nepetalactone is a volatile essential oil found in catnip. It acts as a cat attractant and is known to mimic feline pheromones, thereby triggering a behavioral response in cats. The sensitivity of cats to these pheromone-like compounds varies from one individual to another.

How Does Catnip Affect Cats?

Catnip can have different effects on cats, including causing them to become more playful, happy, or even slightly sedated. Some cats may roll, rub, or purr in response to catnip, while others may become hyperactive or more alert. These reactions tend to last for about 10 to 15 minutes.

The Reaction Of Cats To Catnip: From Blissful To Hyperactive

Catnip induces a range of responses in cats, with some experiencing a sense of euphoria and relaxation, and others becoming highly energetic and playful. These reactions can be entertaining for both cats and their owners, creating a bonding experience.

Factors That Influence A Cat’s Response To Catnip

The response of a cat to catnip can be influenced by various factors, such as genetics, age, and the cat’s overall sensitivity to the compound. Additionally, individual preferences and prior experiences with catnip can also impact a cat’s reaction.

Marijuana And Its Potential Effects On Cats

Exposing cats to marijuana can pose potential risks to their health. It is important to be aware of the dangers of secondhand marijuana smoke for felines, as they can experience adverse effects from inhaling it. Symptoms of marijuana intoxication in cats include lethargy, lack of coordination, drooling, increased heart rate, dilated pupils, and vocalization.

If you suspect that your cat has ingested or been exposed to marijuana, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary assistance. A veterinarian can assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment to mitigate any potential harm. While it may be tempting to monitor the cat at home, it is best to consult a professional to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet.

Potential Effects of Marijuana on Cats:
Risks of exposing cats to marijuana
Dangers of secondhand marijuana smoke for felines
Symptoms of marijuana intoxication in cats
Signs of a cat who has ingested or been exposed to marijuana
Importance of seeking immediate veterinary assistance


Other Substances And Their Impact On Cats

Common medications can have a significant impact on a cat’s behavior. It’s crucial to be aware of these substances and their potential effects. Certain medications may influence a cat’s behavior, causing changes in their mood or temperament. It’s essential to consult a veterinarian before administering any medications to cats, as they can guide you regarding safe usage and potential side effects.

Aside from medications, various household substances can also affect cats. Some items may pose hidden dangers to their health. It’s important to be mindful of common household items that can be toxic to cats, such as certain cleaning products, plants, and foods.

To create a cat-friendly home, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential dangers and take preventive measures. This includes keeping harmful substances out of their reach, creating designated safe spaces, and providing appropriate toys and scratching posts. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure a safe and healthy environment for your feline companion.


It is crucial to remember that cats can indeed get high from certain substances, such as catnip or marijuana. Although catnip is generally harmless and enjoyable for cats, marijuana can pose serious risks and should never be given to them intentionally.

As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to prioritize the safety and well-being of our feline companions by keeping harmful substances out of their reach.

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Dr Harunur Rashid (Harun) is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who has five years of experience in large pet animal medicine. He worked as a livestock officer for two years in an NGO, and since then he has been practicing pet animals medicine privately. He holds an MS in Pharmacology from Bangladesh Agricultural University and a DVM from the same institution.